The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) calls on the Parties to the amended Gothenburg Protocol to initiate the review with the explicit objective to quickly revise and strengthen the Protocol.
This week European air quality experts are meeting in Bratislava for the European Commission’s second Clean Air Forum. While air quality in Europe is slowly improving, 90% of people living in urban areas in the EU are breathing illegal levels of air pollution, and campaigners warn national governments are doing to little, too slow.
According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food waste has a global carbon footprint of about 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest carbon emitter after the US and China. The waste of milk and meat products is particularly problematic: in Germany, the meat and dairy which end up in the garbage every year account for over 6% of the country’s methane emissions.
The European Union is facing a period full of challenges and opportunities in relation to fighting climate change and protecting our environment.
President-elect Ursula von der Leyen committed to both make Europe a climate-neutral continent and to deliver environmental and health protection. A necessary step to take in order to achieve both objectives is to tackle methane emissions, which are not only accelerating climate change but are also responsible for the formation of ground-level ozone. The conference brings together policy makers, scientists and civil society representatives to exchange knowledge, explore solutions and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions from all sources.
Please register as soon as possible and by 31 October 2019 at the latest.
The 8th conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI 2020) will be the meeting point for scientists from all over the world who are dealing with reactive nitrogen compounds in agriculture, industry, traffic, soil, water and air. It will be the place to exchange results, ideas and visions to improve future holistic management of reactive nitrogen in order to further reduce hunger and poverty and at the same time avoid further hazards for human health, biodiversity and environmental media. It will be a perfect opportunity to engage with important policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to stimulate further policy measures for effective integrated nitrogen management.
EU officials are still waiting to receive crucial air pollution reduction programmes from fourteen EU governments, including France, Germany, Poland and Spain.
National governments were supposed to detail how they planned to reduce emissions of harmful air pollution in ‘National Air Pollution Control Programmes’, which should have been sent to the European Commission this month. However, only 13 of the EU’s 28 Member States had filed their plans by the end of April.
Poor air quality can make us more vulnerable to pandemics. That is why taking on air pollution today will help us make the post-corona world of tomorrow healthier, safer and more resilient, and farming has a role to play.
As governments all over Europe take measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and road traffic slows down, people living in cities are experiencing fresher air. Yet the absence of diesel fumes is also exposing many urban dwellers to emissions they are not used to smelling: the one coming from the fields.
The European Commission has published its conclusions on the Fitness Check of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive, at the Clean Air Forum in Bratislava today. The Commission backs the importance of the Directive as a major driver for improving air quality across Europe and has urged Member States to step up implementation to protect people’s health.
Farm protests have turned violent in the Netherlands after the Dutch government announced plans to cut harmful emissions from agriculture. Environmental groups have called for cooperation.
Poor air quality is putting our health at stake, reveals the European Environment Agency in a new report released today – but campaigners warn national action is still too little and too slow. Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Romania and Slovakia are failing to deliver crucial air pollution control plans.
If you live in a European city, you probably feel the air gets too thick at times – and not without reason: 9 out of 10 Europeans living in cities breathe air which is harmful for their health. Urban air pollution can be suffocating, and as city dwellers we often find ourselves dreaming of a countryside escape, to take a breath of fresh air away from traffic fumes. What we don’t know is that a big share of the pollution that makes our air hard to breathe originates right there, in the fields.
The amended Gothenburg Protocol enters into force today, marking an important step towards protecting human health, ecosystems and the climate from dangerous pollutants.
The protocol sets binding emission reduction targets for five air pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter – to be achieved by 2020. Promoted by the United Nations, the protocol has been accepted by 19 parties, including the European Union, and 15 EU member states.
Ammonia emissions from farming are one of the most significant but least addressed sources of air pollution. Almost half of the ambient PM2.5 (the smallest and more dangerous type of particulate pollution) originates from farms, whose emissions are not monitored or regulated by the government.
Adequate information and financial assistance are key to help farmers implement much needed measures to dramatically cut ammonia emissions and keep them under control.
While emissions of most air pollutants are decreasing across the European Union, ammonia emissions from the agricultural sector continue to rise, and may hinder governments from meeting EU air pollution limits, warns the European Environment Agency.
Ammonia emissions can also lead to increased acid depositions and excessive levels of nutrients in soil, rivers or lakes, which can harm aquatic ecosystems and cause damage to forests, crops and other vegetation.